I read an interesting article in Supply Chain Digest a while back. It seems that recently Amazon received patents for a system that uses ultrasonic communications and special wristbands worn by DC workers.
The idea is to improve productivity by accelerating and improving put-away and fulfillment processes.
Here’s how it works… The wristbands emit radio signals that interact with transponders around storage locations. Amazon envisions that just four transponders on a portable pick cart would be enough to accurately identify what location a worker was putting products into or out of. The patent notes that such a system will communicate with workers about whether they were putting to or picking from the right bin.
Of course, FASCOR WMS already tracks worker productivity in detail. Companies like Bryan Equipment Sales are employing FASCOR WebTools as a basis for process improvement initiatives. According to Amazon, the idea behind the wrist bands is to allow workers employing hand-held scanners to free up hands for picking/putting while also freeing up their eyes from computer screens.
What do you think? How much of an impact will these wristbands have on pick/put away efficiency?